Board of Regents - Jasinski

John Jasinski gives the graduation presentation and speech at the May 4 Board of Regents Meeting. This was Jasinski's last Board of Regents meeting he attended following the announcement of his departure from Northwest.

Northwest President John Jasinski spent the majority of the last Board of Regents meeting of the 2021-2022 school year talking about the upcoming spring commencement and recapping his time at Northwest.

Nearly 1,500 undergraduate and graduate students will be walking across the stage to get their diplomas this Friday, May 6, and Saturday, May 7.

“This is what we’re all about,” he said “This is why we work at Northwest Missouri State University, this is why you do what you do.” 

Jasinski told stories about students who have come up to him during sporting events all across the country saying how excited they were to graduate from Northwest even though they were taking classes online from thousands of miles away. 

He highlighted the representation from students in different states as well as different countries from around the world, saying this is the second largest class of international students graduating from the University alongside the class of 2015.

Not only did Jasinski highlight traditional students going through courses, he gave a shoutout to faculty that are earning their higher education degrees while still working full time at Northwest. 

After showing the video that will be played at spring commencement, Jasinski then spoke on the mission of Northwest over the past decade. 

“You guys know our mission, right, focusing on student success, every student, every day,” he said. “It has stood the test of time and served us quite well.” 

He said that he and his wife spent around 112,000 hours being the president and the first lady, and during that time he has spent focusing on success for every student and being a Bearcat. 

“It’s been inspiring to me,” he said “It shows that Bearcats are Bearcats and that we uplift each other no matter who we are or what we’re all about because we focus on student success every student, every day.” 

Jasinski said that his success also depended on the faculty and staff around him. Talking about the good parts of the University was easy for him when he had the statistics to back it up with facts from other departments, he said. 

Though there were many good things Jasinski had to talk about, he didn’t shy away from the challenges the University faced while he was President. 

“Go into the nuts and bolts of all of these, you can see that ‘look, the 18 year olds are down, everywhere across the country,’” he said. “We’ve got challenges ahead. … We’re struggling in some areas.” 

Despite challenges, Jasinski said the Northwest team is able to work together to work through them. 

He then went on to thank his wife, Denise, and his sons. 

“Frankly, what our family has done with Mrs. J’s guidance is to come into a community, 36 – or something like that – years ago, and really try to uplift the community,” he said. “As I wrote a month ago, I really believe it is a mission accomplished.” 

“They’ve given their husband and their father over to the University for 13 years. Thank you,” Jasinski said, holding back tears. 

He went on to talk about his dog, the now late Ruby, saying that six times a day she would open the door, just like Bearcats all across the nation. 

After highlighting over two decades of his time at Northwest, he ended it with a simple thank you to the students, staff and faculty. 

“We say thank you,” he said. “Each and every one of you has been a blessing. We’re lucky, and hope we served you the way we should.” 

With a standing ovation, Jasinski smiled and walked to the back of the room, leaving his spot at the table with the rest of the Board of Regents for the last time.

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